“ColorMaster helps to provide a color-accurate late-binding RGB-workflow, meaning that images are not converted from their RGB space until as late as possible. It is ideal for those who create data from a wide variety of media and printing processes, or who process printing data for production in different countries and have to consider different print and online standards,” comments Michael Farkas, GMG director of marketing “It is a solution to a problem people have been talking about for twenty years. It offers the right way to work with RGB files in an effective and productive manner.”
ColorMaster is a virtual color space used as a preview profile for Photoshop or softproofing applications. By viewing an image in the ColorMaster color space the content originator, typically a photographer, can detect problems in the light or tonal range early and make adjustments—for example, changing the light setting or applying color corrections—before storing the image file into the database. Once the image has been retouched within the ColorMaster color space, the ‘master’ RGB file can be output many times to any industry standard with confidence of its color accuracy.
ColorMaster is process-neutral and therefore an extremely flexible form of data storage. The workflow concept relies on the interlinking of GMG ColorServer for color conversions, GMG ColorProof for the output of hard proofs, and GMG ProofControl for proof verification according to print standards. GMG ColorMaster supplies predefined settings and optimized profiles, making it very easy for the user to set up an automated workflow to convert images and pages from the ColorMaster standard to any international output standard. It offers a high degree of automation, where prepress departments can experience up to 50% time savings.
Many repro houses and brand owners are still bound to CMYK workflows. There are a number of disadvantages. CMYK databases do not allow for sufficient repurposing of images, nor is multi-channel use of images (for web and print) possible. Committing early to CMYK does not provide a quick way of rebuilding an image if the printing standard or substrate changes. On press, images built from CMYK databases can produce unbalanced ink trapping throughout the press sheet, while early-applied GCR negatively influences grey balance and ink control on press.
ColorMaster offers the traditional benefits of an RGB file format workflow – consistency of separations for press, more consistent grey balance, and total ink coverage and GCR that does not create color-correction issues. However, unlike other RGB workflows, GMG ColorMaster offers viewing done on a virtual CMYK color space, which guarantees WYSIWYG for print. The file is either previewed on a monitor with help of the ColorMaster.icc profile, or a GMG ColorMaster hard proof is output by simply dropping the file into a GMG hotfolder.
“At IKEA, I was responsible for the process quality of over 200 million catalogues annually. It was imperative to match color exactly, no matter where the images were printed or what substrate was used. Unfortunately, ICC technology offered limited capabilities and a static rendering engine,” explains Farkas. “The ColorMaster concept was conceived and created between GMG and IKEA to individually adjust separation profiles to a common appearance. It offers the opportunity to avoid multiple correction rounds for mixed media production. At IKEA, we not only reduced our repro effort significantly but also offered our print service providers ready-to-print images that allowed faster makereadies and more consistent output, worldwide.”
Purchase of a GMG ColorMaster 2.0 annual license, available from GMG resellers, provides a customer access to a pre-configured set of updated international color profiles, pre-defined GMG ColorMaster workflows, PDF/X-3 export settings for Adobe InDesign, GMG ColorMaster ICC for screen viewing, and a GMG SwatchBook.